Re: Sarah Palin’s Alaska

by Jonah Goldberg

I haven’t watched any yet, though I keep meaning to. I have seen quite a few clips. Anyway, I just thought I’d make one point. In some of the commentary and coverage of the show, there seems to be a lot of eye-rolling or outright skepticism at the Palins’ “obsession” with fishing and hunting. I’ve been to a very large swath of Alaska for myriad reasons, many times now, (chief among them: My in-laws live in Fairbanks). I’m less comfortable speaking about some areas than others, particularly  that crowd in Juneau or in downtown Anchorage (“Seattle-North” as some in Fairbanks call it). But from my own experience, it is entirely true that fishing and/or hunting are activities lots and lots of Alaskans organize their lives around. Even the people who don’t like hunting and fishing very much tend to be knowledgeable about it. Heck even among the Alaskan mafia here in DC, it can be a conversational staple. I’ve never been to a state where you can make the same kind of generalization (in other words, if you’re from New Hampshire or Texas or wherever and you and your friends really love hunting and fishing, too, that’s fine. There’s no need to send me an angry e-mail. My point is that Alaska’s whole culture seems to be dominated by these things in a way you can’t say about any other state).

Correction: I misspelled Juneau in the original post.

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